Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How to Give CBD Oil to Dogs: 7 Simple Ways

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

giving CBD oil to dog

CBD oil for dogs has many benefits, from treating the pain of arthritis to anxiety or seizures. You may be concerned about how to give them the oil, as it’s recommended as a twice-daily treatment. Fortunately, there are seven simple ways to ensure your pup gets the proper amount of CBD oil.

Let’s take a look at these methods to decide which is best for your pup. Remember that if one approach isn’t successful, you can always try another until you find one that works the best.

divider 9

The 7 Ways to Give Dogs CBD

1. Directly From the Dropper

dog taking CBD oil
Image Credit: Aleksey Boyko, Shutterstock

Because CBD must be dosed correctly based on your dog’s weight or condition, administering it directly is the most effective way. This method ensures they’ve received the total dose and can experience its wide-ranging benefits. Depending on their temperament or experience accepting medications from a dropper, it may take time for them to adjust to it.

Once you’ve squeezed the proper amount of oil into the dropper, place the end of it toward the back of your pup’s mouth. Their mouth doesn’t need to be open as long as you can fit the end of the dropper between their gums and into the mouth. Administering the oil as far back in the mouth as possible stimulates the swallowing reflex and should prevent gagging. After you’ve given them the CBD oil, be sure to follow it up with a treat and positive reinforcement.

  • Most effective method of absorption
  • Ensures adequate dosing
  • It gets faster and easier
  • Some dogs might not adjust
  • Flavored oils could cause gagging

2. With Their Food

French Bulldog is busy with his meal eating
Image Credit: Tienuskin, Shutterstock

If mealtime is your pup’s favorite time of day, adding CBD oil to their food may also be an easy way of offering it to them. Because you need to ensure that they’ve received the total dose of oil, this method may not work if they don’t regularly eat their entire meal or share a bowl with another pet. If you think it could be a good option, here’s how to do it.

Dry food will absorb the oil best and mask the flavor. Gradually increasing the dose ensures they don’t notice a drastic change in their food and turn away from it. Because CBD oil may not incorporate fully into wet food, mixing it with dry food is recommended.

  • A no-stress way of offering CBD oil
  • Dogs will eat food anyway
  • It helps you remember daily dosing
  • Works best with dry food only
  • Pups must finish their meal

3. With Peanut Butter

dog eating peanut butter
Image Credit: Elizabeth Foley, Shutterstock

Peanut butter is a dog owner’s best friend when offering medications, and it can be just as helpful for CBD oil. However, some kinds of butter contain xylitol. This sweetener is highly toxic to dogs and, according to VCA Animal Hospitals, can cause severe symptoms even in small amounts. While many products contain xylitol, it is most dangerous to dogs in peanut better because it is commonly used as a treat.

Once you’ve read the ingredient label on your peanut butter and have deemed it safe for your pup, you can mix it with CBD oil. Peanut butter also has oils, so an additional one will usually mix very well as long as you have enough of it for the amount of CBD you are using. After thoroughly mixing it, you can offer it to your dog as you would regular peanut butter.

  • Your dog already loves peanut butter
  • Easy to dose and mix
  • Must ensure peanut butter is safe

4. With Their Treats

dog treat
Image Credit: PourquoiPas, Pixabay

You most likely already have your dog’s favorite treats on hand and are ready to offer praise or show them extra love. By adding CBD oil and its many benefits, you are indicating you care in yet another way. As long as the type of treat readily absorbs oil and your pup eats it, crumbs and all, you can rest assured they’ve received their total dose.

Choose a treat large enough for the dosage you are giving. Add the drops to various places on the treat and wait a few minutes for the oil to soak in thoroughly. Then, feed the treat to your pup as usual. If the flavor of the CBD oil has changed the taste of their favorite treat too much, you may want to try a new treat they’ve never had before, so they only know the flavor with it added.

  • You already have treats
  • They already love treats
  • Not all treats absorb oil
  • It might change the taste

5. With Homemade Treats

homemade dog treat biscuits
Image Credit: Susan Schmitz, Shutterstock

There are many recipes for humans and pets that incorporate CBD oil. Those for pets include treats that you can feel good about offering them. Not only do you know they are getting the right amount of CBD oil, but you also know all the ingredients in them because you’ve made them yourself. Not all recipes are of the highest quality, and you may need to do some additional research to ensure the CBD treats include safe and beneficial ingredients for dogs.

Making treats is similar to making cookies. You want to avoid making more of them than they will eat before going stale unless the recipe indicates you can freeze them. The cooking process may alter the CBD oil slightly and make it less effective, but you should stick to the same dosing guidelines to ensure they aren’t getting too much.

  • You know the ingredients used
  • Easily dose to your dog’s needs
  • Time-consuming process
  • May change natural chemicals

6. Diluted with Water

Beagle dog drinking clear water
Image Credit: ALEX_UGALEK, Shutterstock

As you may know, water and oil don’t mix. However, a tasteless oil sitting on top of the water is quickly lapped up by a thirsty pup. This is not the most effective method, but if other techniques aren’t working for them, you may want to give this one a try. Simply add the proper CBD oil dose to a bit of water in their water bowl and wait for them to get thirsty.

If your dog shares a water bowl, you won’t be able to ensure that one dog receives the proper amount of CBD oil. You should also use only as much water as they will drink in a short time. Once that water is gone, feel free to fill their bowl with fresh water that doesn’t contain oil. Some tasteless oils may still have a slight flavor that your pup will notice.

  • Great backup method
  • Tasteless oils may still have a taste
  • Least accurate doing method

7. Topically (for Skin Conditions)

CBD Oil for dogs
Image Credit: Erin_Hinterland, Pixabay

If your dog is suffering from skin conditions, the most effective way to treat them with CBD oil is topical. Applying CBD oil to the skin allows it to get to work immediately, providing immediate relief and long-term benefits. Some CBD oils may not be rated for topical use, and some may not be rated for digestion, so be sure to read labels and product descriptions well before administering.

Applying CBD oil to your pet’s skin does not count toward their daily oil dose since very little of it is absorbed into their body and bloodstream. CBD oil is concentrated, unlike a cream or balm designed for the skin.

  • Put the oil right where it’s needed
  • It doesn’t count toward the daily dose
  • Concentrated power
  • Not designed specifically for skin

Divider 4

Tips for Properly Dosing CBD Oil for Dogs

Many studies about CBD and its effectiveness in dogs estimate that 0.1 to 0.2 mg per kg of body weight are needed when treating arthritis and seizures. This should be given twice daily for maximum effect since CBD is most effective for a relatively short period.

To effectively treat your pup, you’ll need to factor in a few things and judge the best dose. You should also consult the product label and your pet’s veterinarian for guidance.

Image Credit: Erin Stone, Pixabay

Know Their Weight

Because so much of a CBD oil dose is based on weight, you should have as accurate a weight as possible. Your vet should be able to give you this with their scales designed for pets. However, you can do it at home as well. Weigh yourself on your scale and then subtract the amount from the weight of you holding your pet.

Know Their Condition

Some health conditions don’t require as much CBD oil to treat. For example, pain and seizures may need more CBD oil each dose than anxiety, depending on the severity of their condition. You may need to start with a lower amount and increase it based on your pup’s reaction.

Know Their Breed

Some breeds may digest CBD oil differently than others. It’s challenging to understand every breed and its individual needs, but it is a conversation you should have with your dog’s vet before starting a CBD regimen.

Divider 2

In Conclusion

CBD oil for dogs has many benefits but is not a medically approved treatment. If you try CBD, you have several simple options for administering it: the most effective is directly from the dropper. If that doesn’t work, try other methods and see which one suits your pup.

Featured Image Credit: 24K-Production, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database